What happens when you use resin and nail polish together?
Confession time. I have this weird quirk about needing to buy stuff from the bargain bin of stores and try to use them in resin. It’s like I’m imagining myself on one of those cooking shows and have to use a specific ingredient in a dish. I have taken that to the resin studio and try to challenge myself every chance I get.
On a recent dollar store trip, I found nail polishes in the bargain bin and decided now was the time to try them in epoxy resin.
The basics of the two-part experiment went like this:
I mixed 1 ounce total of Resin Obsession super clear resin.
For Part A, I put approximately 5 ml of mixed resin into 4 different one-ounce plastic mixing cups. I added opaque polish colors to two of the cups, whereas I added clear polish with glitter to the other two cups.
For Part B, I poured the rest of the mixed clear resin into our domino size silicone mold. I poured drops of 4 opaque colors onto each cavity of wet resin. Unfortunately, the clear polish with glitter was too thick to pour.
Here are my charms shown with their corresponding polishes.
The nail polish did not want to mix with the resin. It immediately started to clump and these clumps did not dissolve.
Note: A few readers have suggested mixing acetone with nail polish to thin it out before including it in resin. While I haven’t tried it, if you do this, please know it may affect the curing and is flammable. Use caution if you are using a torch to pop bubbles in the resin.
When I hold the charms up to the light, you can see there are flakes in them, especially in the one on the left.
The results of using clear nail polish and resin were awful. It turned the resin a disgusting color of amber-yellow. Lacquer will turn resin yellow, so clear nail polish likely has the same ingredients and properties. Definite fail.
Dripping nail polish on resin got me somewhat better results depending on the color.
The pink and red colors left pretty dots on the resin surface that matched their original colors.
The blue and teal nail polishes left some weird feathering. I would have liked these better if the color had been consistent like the pink and purples above.
So here is what I learned about using resin and nail polish together:
- Mixing nail polish with resin is not an effective way to color resin. I’ll stick with resin colors to mix into epoxy.
- Dripping it on wet resin can add color and interesting effects. Quite frankly though, I liked the results from using alcohol-based ink colors better. (See my ink drop pendant tutorial.)
- Painting colored nail polish on cured resin looks like it’s a legit option for coloring resin charms.
- Clear polish should not ever be used to color resin. After seeing it turn yellow quickly, I wouldn’t paint it on resin charms either.
If you want to see more of how I mixed resin and nail polish, you can watch the video:
What’s been your experience using nail polish to color resin?
Confused about how to craft with resin?
I get it. There is so much information to sort through. How are you supposed to know it all? It’s why I wrote the book, Resin Fundamentals. Instead of searching through hours of information, buy the book and start learning the essential details you need to know to make something amazing with resin. It’s the book I wish I had when I started as a resin artist fifteen years ago!
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